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The IT Crowd: Yesterday's Jam

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jan 27th 2006 11:59PM
the it crowdToday marked the online premiere of the new U.K. Channel 4 sitcom, The IT Crowd. I'm an IT guy myself, so the curiosity overcame me, and I had to watch this first episode. In fact, if the premiere episode is any indication of what to expect, I may just keep on watching it. I just hope they keep providing them online, or I may be out of luck.

The premise of The IT Crowd is pretty simple. In the just-over 23-minute premiere we meet Jen, a computer illiterate Gillian Anderson lookalike, who's just been hired by an incompetent boss to manage the IT department. The two-person IT department consists of Roy, a "RTFM" T-Shirt wearing slob, and Moss, the giant-afro sporting clueless nerd. It doesn't take Roy and Moss long to learn that Jen knows nothing about computers, so they hatch a plan to get her sacked. They all quickly learn that the aforementioned clueless boss fires anyone who doesn't act as a "team", and realize they're just going to have to deal with each other.

The primary set of the basement IT lab was clearly put together by someone in-the-know about how many IT departments are run. I've been in places like that, with dead or dying monitors piled to the ceiling, using computer parts as bookends, and posters and bumper stickers everywhere. Then of course there's the typical phone calls to the IT department, with the usual "did you turn it off and on again?" question so frequently (though necessarily) asked.

There are times with other comedy shows out of the U.K. that the humor was lost on me, but not so with this one. There's definite potential there, even though they're going the route of a live studio audience. While I can imagine there may be a flub or two with their computer terminology in future episodes, I have faith that they have consultants on hand to help them get it straight. The writers for this show are clearly trying to reach out to us IT people, and we're a picky bunch.

And if they don't have anyone on hand to help with the IT accuracy, they're only a few keystrokes away from finding what they need.

The televised version of The IT Crowd airs on February 3 on U.K. Channel 4.

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The English website of the IT Crowd RTFM tee shirt is here : http://www.all-tribes.com/eng/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_25 ;)

February 04 2006 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John -- I merely meant that, usually, modern studio-audience comedies suck. But that's just my opinion.

February 04 2006 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Hoare

"There's definite potential there, even though they're going the route of a live studio audience."

Sorry to be picky, as I loved it as well - but your implication here is that live studio audiences are bad.

Why do you think this? Obviously they don't suit every show - but then, *not* having an audience for every show wouldn't work either. You use the right form for the right programme. The IT Crowd *definitely* suits having an audience - it just wouldn't be as funny without one, for all kinds of reasons.

February 04 2006 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As an Aussie IT person the humour was apparent.
I found it very funny.
And the 2nd episode is now also available online.
A bit slower than the 1st in my opinion.

January 31 2006 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I found the RTFM t-shirt here : http://www.all-tribes.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_25


January 30 2006 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Phil

Awesome show. Can't wait for next week's show. I love how they mix the typical sitcom with a slaptick type of edge to it. Good stuff.

January 28 2006 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That was a great first episode. Lots of funny stuff. I hope they keep up with the web version of the show, but I suppose it will be available on the internet one way or the other. As someone who has a stack of old PC's next to his desk acting as test boxes, a jukebox, and the tech department webserver, I agree with your assessment of the set design. Enhanced for TV maybe, but within the realm of possibility. They also have a pretty nice website for being a brand new show.

January 28 2006 at 2:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Abyss of Borg

Yeah my thoughts exactly. I agree 110%.

January 28 2006 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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